Notorious Stories: Episode#1
This is officially my first blog post on the NotoriousPR website, I hope you all enjoy it and come back to read future posts!
OK, Back to it! So a few years ago, I conducted my very first PR consultation with a client and it did not go well. I was very green and it did not dawn on me how much information is needed to pull off a successful meeting. I know some of you out there are just starting out in the entrepreneurial world, whether it be PR, technology, beauty, etc.
Whatever industry you are in, I'm sure this information that I have consolidated into 5 tips will be extremely useful to you as much as they were for me.
Be Prepared. This means, actually know what your potential client's business or brand does first and be prepared to speak about it! I know this sounds like something I shouldn't have to explain, but I totally did this once. And if I did this, I know someone else is bound to do it too. Having some basic information about your potential client before your meeting will give them even more incentive to work with you. Not only does it show them that you took the time to research their company/brand and are informed, but that you are a professional and you are taking your efforts to create success for them seriously.
Dress Appropriately. It has come to my attention, that some folks believe that just because you are a freelancer that it means what you are doing is not really work, that you can just slack off, wear pajamas all day, and care less about those dark circles under your eyes. WRONG! Freelancing, especially in PR means you should be dressing professionally when meeting clients just as you would if you were coming into the office. I also must stress the importance of this even if you are meeting remotely. If you are having a video conference, your potential client will at least be viewing you from the chest up. You should at least put on a clean blouse(or button-up for men), run a comb through your hair, and do whatever your bare minimum skincare regime may be.
Do your research. This tip sort of coincides with Tip #1, but nonetheless it's still important. Now in the first tip, I talked about being prepared for your consultation with your client and learning basic information about them and their business. This tip is more about knowing what you are talking about in terms of the actual meat of your meeting sandwich. Have you done research on your client's demographic? Did you do a quick skim of their social media to see if they are active? What location are they trying to pursue? All of these questions and more are some that you should at least have some knowledge about when meeting with your client as they are looking at you for the answers. After all, they are paying you for your knowledge! That's what consulting is!
Listen to your client. Are you giving your client action plans and ideas that you find attractive? Are you taking it into account when your client gives you feedback? Yes, we are the professionals and more than likely we do know what's best for our client's brand but personally, I don't want to push my personal aspirations for my client if they are not happy with the decision. Listen to their feedback, push back only when needed(and respectfully), and move forward accordingly.
Network, Network, Network! I cannot stress this enough! Part of freelancing that I find the hardest is actually finding clients to work with. A lot of freelancers that I know depend on their previous clients' word of mouth. So when you have clients in consultations and hopefully you have good relationships with them, ask them if they know of anyone who could use your services-you might be pleasantly surprised how many contacts you gain in your Rolodex!
So those are the 5 tips I use to prepare myself for PR consultations. These may not work for everyone but I at least hope you were able to get something out of this post! If you have something to add to these 5 tips or you do things completely different, I'd love to hear it. Feel free to leave a comment, I am making a point to respond to every comment I receive!
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Until Next Time,